I used to love Norwegian. The Epic was my first cruise and I went on several after that before trying Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. One thing I always loved about Norwegian was the value.
That has all changed.
Now everything costs more. Margaritaville has a hamburger I like. When I was on the Breakaway a few years ago I went to Margaritaville every day for lunch. It was like $12 per person. Kind of high but reasonable. Now it’s $15 with a 20% gratuity so that is $18. That hamburger is not an $18 hamburger and lunch for 2 people is not worth $36 and that does not include drinks!
All of the specialty dining is more expensive and a la carte.
Dinner at La Cucina used to be $14.95 on the Getaway. Now if you get a 4 course meal you are talking $30 to $40. Olive Garden is 10x better than La Cucina and I can get dinner for 2 people for less than $40. NCL wants me to spend nearly $80 for 2 people? They are out of their mind! And one night we got the prosciutto pizza to share. It was a cheese pizza with 5 small pieces of prosciutto. It was not an $18 pizza. I get pizza every Friday from Papa Johns or Donatos and I pay less and get more.
Cagney’s used to be a special night; a great filet with delicious sides. This cruise I got an 8 oz filet and it was cooked perfectly but had zero flavor. The chef didn’t even put salt and pepper on it. Luckily I used one of my dining plan vouchers otherwise that steak was $30+. I can get a beautiful filet for $22 locally, put a delicious rub on it, and after 2 hours in my sous vide I have a steak Norwegian would be begging me for.
The only positive thing I can say is that I ate in Taste for lunch and dinner because I was tired of paying for food and the food was just as good as the specialty restaurants and the service was 10x better. The servers were very quick and attentive whereas we waited 5 to 15 minutes for the servers in the specialty restaurants to bring us anything.
Deck 17 is an epic failure!
The doors are not automatic. In order to open the sliding doors, you have to physically touch a sensor. I have limited mobility and I have very limited reach. I could not physically touch the sensor. I tried to use a short dressing stick that I carry to press elevator buttons but the sensors were capacitive so the only way to activate the sensor and open the door was to use an actual human touch. Touch sensors are absolutely and ridiculously stupid!
To make matters worse the button is not always in the center of the door. Sometimes it’s on the wall.
Has NCL ever met a handicap person with mobility issues? I don’t think they have. We don’t all have full use of our arms.
Note: Celebrity ships have similar buttons you have to touch to open doors but their buttons work with my dressing stick. Smart!
But wait, there’s more. Have you ever tried to maneuver a 3 wheeled scooter down the length of the ship with beach chairs on either side? If you haven’t let me tell you it’s not an easy thing to do. Now add some wind breakers in the middle and you have a near impossible situation. Now one must try to maneuver around beach chairs and a divider. I have no idea why these wind breakers were installed in the first place. The best part about sitting on the top deck is the ability to stare out at the ocean and have the wind cool you off from the hot sun. If someone doesn’t want wind they can go to deck 16 or the Spice H2O deck. Wind breakers are absolutely and ridiculously stupid!
Note: On Celebrity ships there is a walkway at least 10 feet wide all the way down the ship. That means if someone is standing I can go around them. There is also enough room for 2 lanes of traffic. Smart! The Getaway, Breakaway, and Bliss have 28 inches of walkway. That means if I am on my scooter I can’t turn around, people have to stand on beach chairs so I can pass, and the traffic is one way. Stupid!
The bathroom was spacious and the tile had more traction when it was wet than when it was dry. My wet feet did not slip at all when I was in the shower.
The entry door was automatic and opened with the swipe of my key card – Amazing!
There was an outlet on the wall near my scooter for the battery charger – Amazing!
The room was smaller than what I had on the Getaway and Breakaway.
The bed was the most uncomfortable bed I had ever slept on, it was hard as a rock and I woke up multiple times throughout the night in pain. After 3 days of this hell I talked to guest services and they said they could put a foam topper on. I don’t know if I should praise NCL for having foam toppers available or to scold NCL for having foam toppers because that means they knew their beds are hard. In this case I was grateful a foam topper was available. I still had the worst week of sleep I have ever had on vacation.